Month: May 2021 Page 1 of 3
Ah, my Lord, you are all I need. You have a home prepared and all waiting for me at the end of my sojourn here. Oh, blessed and joyous homecoming. How I long for it to be now. How I long to dwell with you and praise you each moment of eternity. And, having crowned me with your love, I will declare my fealty to you and reign with you as an unworthy exalted servant over whatever worlds you place under me. Forever, I will be yours. And so I worship you.
I’m neglecting other people too much. This is a constant sin I struggle with. How can you keep forgiving me when I do it over and over? Interfere with my life so I will look beyond what I like to what others like.
I know I cannot join you in your realm yet because you say I still have work to do. Thank you for the church so we can encourage each other’s work. So we can learn more about you as a group. So we don’t have to face our sins alone. So we can share our sadness with those who love us. So, we can be priests to each other and make sacrifices for each other. So we can pray for each other and read your Word together. So we can share our little victories with each other. So we can struggle to do better together. So we can lift each other and never feel alone. Thank you for your Plan to continue the wondrous life of Christ on earth through our combined efforts. And your promise to lift us up to reign with you some day in the heavens.
The scripture for today, May 26 (5/26), is 1st Thessalonians 5:26 as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
Do you have a prayer list? How long is it? Five people? Twenty? Fifty? Five hundred? Often prayers get bogged down and short because the only person we “remember” in prayer is ourselves. Well, and maybe a relative or two
There are many people who need your prayers: Your family is obvious. How about your neighbors? If you don’t know their names, pray for them by house or apartment number. What about the newspaper? Every one of those bad-news stories is crying out for prayer. The school near you needs your prayers ~ students, teachers, administrators, janitors. It doesn’t matter whether you have a child in that school; pray for them anyway.
Who are your local government officials? Not liking them doesn’t make any difference, for Jesus said we are to pray for our enemies too. And that leads to the list of your enemies; do you have any at your workplace? Include them too. It’s pretty hard to resent someone you pray for.
One other thing you might try doing in addition to having a prayer list: Have an answered-prayer list. Write down when you pray for someone, then when it is answered. Keep it as a reminder when you are down and don’t think He’s ever going to answer your requests. God does care, after all.
And speaking of requests, by the time you’re done praying for all the other people on your prayer list, you won’t have a lot of time to pray for yourself. And that is okay too, for others are praying for you!
The scripture for today, May 25 (5/25), is Galatians 5:25f as found in the New Testament of the Bible:
When someone is better than you in doing something, do you pick fights with them as punishment, or spread gossip about them in order to get others to quit respecting them? Do you become a persecutor?
Perhaps you don’t do this all the time. But what about times when there is something you feel you are really good at, but another person not as talented gets the honor? That’s when it’s hard to “keep in step with the Spirit.”
Someone else may say, “But they just barged in and didn’t ask my permission. I can’t get rid of that hurt.” When you sin, do you ask God’s permission before you do it? If you didn’t, do you think God “just can’t get rid of the hurt”? God treats you the way you treat others.
Whenever you envy or resent someone, deep down, you consider that person your enemy. Jesus said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:44-45a). What are you willing to do to continue being a child of God?
To many, loving our enemy is the most difficult command in the Bible. Perhaps one way to love your “enemy” is to realize that Jesus loved his enemies. Every time you sin, you become one of his enemies. But Jesus keeps right on loving you, even when you don’t want to stop doing whatever you shouldn’t.
Jesus demonstrates the love of the Son of God. And here he says, if you love your enemies, you are demonstrating what the children of God do. And that is far more important than honor and respect that goes to those you envy or resent. Leaving behind conceit makes it much easier to love everyone. Love everyone? What an intriguing thought.
“Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream.”
When individuals of a nation begin taking advantage of each other, the nation loses its standard of justice. Eventually, nations fall because of it ~ maybe not right away, but eventually.
Although acting justly may decrease someone’s income or status or power, that just act will spur your nation to roll on and on like a river.
Injustice is not impersonal. Injustice begins with you. One person at a time until eventually, an entire nation falls. On the other hand, justice also begins with you. One person at a time. That’s what will make your nation roll on and on like a never-failing stream.
What are you doing for your country?
“Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your [God’s] name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.”
This is Moses talking to God, and Moses is very angry. Is it a good idea to be mad at God? Deuteronomy 34:10 says there was never a prophet like Moses “whom the Lord knew face to face.”
Getting angry [not violent, that’s different] sometimes is part of a healthy relationship, as long as (1) we stick to the facts and not get into a blame game and (2) are willing to stay around long enough to understand the other person’s point of view. Moses did not call God bad names nor did he desert God. He spoke his mind, then waited to see how God would reply.
It wasn’t that God didn’t want to rescue his people from slavery in Egypt. God was not quite through putting Pharaoh in his place. And he probably did not rescue his people in the manner Moses had in mind. But Eventually ~ after a little patience on Moses’ part ~ it happened: God rescued his people.
Are you angry at God over something? Tell him so. Then stick around and wait for him to express his point of view. It will happen someday. Maybe it won’t be your point of view. Probably it will be better.
Lord, I have neglected going to see people who need my encouragement. I know they need me, but I do something for myself instead. It has gotten out of hand. Open my eyes and forgive me.
Ah, my Lord, thank you for the Bible and revealing yourself in it. I never have to guess. Your mind is laid bare to me. You’ve exposed all your joys and pain, laughter and tears, hopes and desires, strengths and tenderness, justice and mercy. You dared expose yourself to me. All the rawness and transparency is there for me. Do I dare do less? My God, my hope is in you. My will I surrender to you. My heart I give you. My soul bows forever to you. Thank you, Jehovah God, for giving me the Bible that explains why I am here and all you did to save me from Satan’s living death. Thank you that you are preparing me to live and reign with you over worlds I cannot imagine. Whatever they are, my will shall always be your will. Without you, nothing good can ever happen. With you, goodness reigns supreme. With you, I can live forever. You have allowed me to stand with you. The fight is worth it. The victory overwhelming.
I have to confess that I would rather watch something on television in the evening than spend that time writing a little note of encouragement or visiting someone who is lonely. Help me break loose of my habit of preferring my pleasure over that of others.
Thank you for allowing me to converse with you. Without prayer, who would I talk to about these deep and sometimes hidden things? You understand me even when I do not understand myself. You forgive me even when I do not forgive myself. If I do not forgive myself, it robs me of being able to have a second chance and be a new person all over again. Thank you for pouring out your heart to mine in your Bible. There is so much my stubborn mind misses. Satan tries to put blinders on me because he is jealous of you and wants me to rely on him ~ the father of liars. But I’ll keep trying. My copy of your Bible is right here in front of me, just as you are.
I praise you, God of glory. Your splendor is the light of your goodness and the richness of your comfort. Your glory is your mercy when I do wrong and protection when others doing wrong toward me. You interrupt me when I am about to do that which I should not and you make me fail when I plan something that would betray you. You watch over me and it is too much to understand how you can. You know all my thoughts and prayers, actions and cares. You love me so much, refusing to let me go, I can only worship you.
Lord of all that exists, I bow to you because I never can live up to your perfection. I am weak. How can you love me so? When I fall, you lift me up. When I stray, you run after me and bring me back. When I weep, you wipe away my tears. When I collapse, you make me fly. Always you make me better than I am. You delight in me and make me your own. I lift my eyes to you in gratitude.
I rush like the wind to give my deepest thanks for all you did to save me from Satan’s trap. He wanders in and out of my thoughts enshrouded by the darkness of his light. His wisdom gives me permission to flaunt my will over yours. His lies cover up my willfulness so that I think I have won eternity without you. I rely on your Words to tell me what is truth. I rely on your Words to warn me of the shadows of his laughter. I rely on your Words to lift me up and carry me away from the Great Destroyer to safety in your everlasting arms. Only in you is there strength. Only in you is there wonder and beauty and everything magnificent that Satan does not want me to know of. Only in you is there true life.
Holy! Holy! Holy! Because of you, Lord God, thieves stop stealing and rise up to call you holy. Because of you, liars stop lying and raise their voices to call you holy. Because of you, drunks stop drinking and stand up to declare you holy. Because of you, murderers stop murdering and lift their hearts to announce you holy. Because of you, the selfish stop hoarding and release all they own to you holy. You are life in its purest form.
Oh, Jesus, that cross was intended to be an instrument of torture and shame outside of Jerusalem but turned into a tower of light for the world. That crown of thorns was intended to be a mockery but turned into a crown of gold that pronounced you king of the world. Those nails were intended to pierce human flesh; instead, it pierced the heart of the world. How can I thank you? How can any of us thank you for rescuing my wounded soul and making me a child of the King?
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